State Acknowledges Washington Data Center Was Overbuilt

By Austin Jenkins

Critics of Washington’s new $300 million data center complex have been saying for years that it was overbuilt. Now, the state acknowledges as much. In a new report, Washington’s Chief Information Officer concludes two of the four data halls will not be needed. 

This image shows one of the “built out” data halls in Washington’s new data center. Photo Courtesy: Consolidated Technology ServicesThe term data hall refers to a highly secure, climate controlled, windowless warehouse space for computer servers. Washington’s state-of-the-art data center in Olympia includes four of these cavernous vaults. Two were finished and two others were left as shells. Now the state says it will only need the first two. Rob St. John heads the state agency in charge of the data center.

Rob St. John: “Knowing what we know today, I don’t think we would have built the size of the footprint. I think there would have been a little bit better understanding of the macro technology trends with regard to virtualization and cloud computing.”

St. John says efforts to lease out the unfinished data center space to the private sector have been unsuccessful.

Rob St. John: “We’re going to look at alternative use for that space to try to recover as much of the money as we can.”

The state of Washington has also scrubbed plans to keep open its old data center. The report says the cost to maintain two facilities is - quote – “not a wise use of taxpayer money.”

This image shows one of the “built out” data halls in Washington’s new data center. Photo Courtesy: Consolidated Technology Services

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